I consider myself a very lucky woman. Not an old woman. Not a young woman. Not a middle-aged woman. A very lucky woman, and a grateful one at that. I had the great privilege of celebrating my best friend’s birthday on Monday with our family and friends. Like many do on birthdays we made jokes at her expense, and it was funny and we laughed and we ate and drank and chatted. It was lovely. I felt blessed to be there and for sure I was. And now today, bookending this birthday week, had she not died seven years ago, we would be celebrating my other best friend’s birthday. But today, instead of making jokes to deepen our laugh lines I will pick up her photograph and remember her as she was and will always remain, never more than thirty-five. And then randomly, wistfully, all throughout the day I’ll think of her and all our shenanigans and I will savor and be grateful for each one and I will laugh and I will deepen my laugh lines. I will send love and prayers heavenward and I will miss her. Oh, because I miss her so much. But, I will also be so very grateful that I knew her, that I loved and was loved by her. And I will thank her for making me a better person and friend to those I am blessed to have with me now. And I will thank her for reminding me in the most difficult of ways, that one day my journey here will end so I should make the most of it while I can. I am a lucky woman.
Control is a fallacy and living in a way such that you think you have it is misleading. Everything is temporary. We, these bodies we inhabit, are temporary. Friendships, jobs, cars, clothes, homes, school - all temporary. We think we might, and we try, but we don't truly control any of it. But there is one true thing we can hold onto. It is the basis of absolutely everything, the most amazing, fulfilling prize in all of 'this' is love. That love helps make the discomfort of living our lives entirely on unsure footing - worth it.
I’ve not traveled the safest route on my journey - according to some. Who cares? They always have lots to say don’t they? I’m traveling my route. I believe I can do nothing else. So I keep walking and I keep trying. I’m winning, I’m failing. But at least I keep walking, trying. I’m being! Because, this is all temporary - all those footsteps I’ve already traveled have already been blown away and are being retread by those behind just as I follow those intersecting paths ahead of me. So I will continue to savor every moment along the way. And when I’m scared - which I am often, my fingers tremble as I write this - I will look that fear in the eye and I will pause for a minute and I’ll take it all in… but then I will let it pass right on through me. I don’t have time to linger there being scared. None of us do. It’s a speed bump on our road, a disturbance on our journey. It is an opportunity to learn how and why we are afraid and then a chance to recalibrate. Then it’s up to us, to me, to keep the lesson and let the fear go and keep on moving. It’s the only way forward. When it’s really hard to take my next step I call on my Guardian Angel. Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide.
There is so much talk, all the time, about what a woman should do with her body and how she should look and what age she should be and what she should say and do at every stage of her life. If you watch television or read magazines or watch movies you’d believe the only women who have anything to say are in their 20s. It’s control of a different variety. It’s up to me, in my own life, to recognize that and keep pushing forward, keep talking. So I do.
Because I’ve said all this and I’ve got plenty more love to give and things to say and I’m so very grateful I get the opportunity to do it and say it, to keep trying. Not everyone does. I’m here and time’s a’wastin’! Better get to it.